India PM Calls for China's Restraint During U.S. Presidential Transition

On Tuesday in a speech before an audience of politicians and military officers from 65 nations, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a thinly veiled statement aimed at China and its regional ambitions. "Rising ambition and rivalries are generally visible stress points” he said, adding "the steady increase in military power, resources and wealth in the Asia-Pacific has raised the stakes of security." In additional comments relevant to China, Modi went on to state the importance of respecting freedom of navigation and international norms.
The Cipher Take:As rising global powers, competing interests make interactions between India and China highly complex. In recent history, the two countries have not always been friendly—they fought a short border war in 1962—and their reliance on many of the same trade routes and waterways, combined with rapid economic growth and associated growth in military spending, has made the two even warier of one another. The United States has, in recent years, tried to forge a stronger strategic relationship with India, though New Delhi’s longtime policy of non-alignment precludes it from forging alliances. While cooperation began to warm under the Obama administration, it would take patience and concerted effort by the Trump administration to continue fostering stronger ties over areas of mutual interest. First among them would be addressing China’s assertiveness in the region.


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